The Brit is arguably the pound for pound best fighter this country has had in the sport, and has been a perennial Middleweight contender for years. But despite some big wins and performances during his career, Bisping has failed to get far enough up the ladder to contend for the Middleweight crown.
It was a title that was for a long time held by Silva. The Brazilian MMA legend dominated the division from 2006 until 2013 where his record breaking 16 fight win streak in the organisation was ended via knockout to Chris Weidman. The All-American won the rematch via TKO due to a broken leg sustained by Silva during the fight.
Bisping will get the fight he has long been clamoring when he welcomes Silva back into the Octagon in February. The Englishman has been wanting to fight the former pound for pound king for years but never got the title shot.
The Manchester native is currently riding two fight win streak but has not fought since UFC: Glasgow where he defeated Thales Leites by spit decision in July.
The Brazilian has not fought since his bout with Nick Diaz last January. Silva initially won the fight by unanimous decision but failed the post fight drug test which resulted in a no contest and a 12 month suspension.
“We’re all chasing a dream – a dream of being a champion,” Bisping added. “You’ve got to do it through hard work and determination.
“The facts of the matter is that Anderson Silva tested positive for not one, not two, but for three banned substances. And while I respect him as a fighter, I lost a lot of respect for him for that.
“This fight represents me beating all of these people who try to beat the system. I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs in my life.
“To call yourself a martial artist and take performance-enhancing drugs is the biggest contradiction you can make.
“He should be ashamed of himself.
“I hope Anderson is tested many times. He should be tested many times because he failed the test – not once, not twice, but three times.
“A while ago I said to myself I was over fighting people who had an unfair advantage.
“I’ve fallen foul of it several times now but I started to think about whether I would take the fight and he’s still Anderson Silva and it’s a bucket list fight.
“For that reason we will meet in February.
“But if you take performance-enhancing drugs, you’re a coward.”
Bisping was originally scheduled to face Gegard Mousasi on the card but will instead fight Silva. Mousasi will now face Leites in the co main event.
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